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How the rise of Trump and Brexit ‘unconsciously’ impacted ‘Paddington 2’

There’s a heavy, timely subtext to the kid’s film
Hugh Bonneville and Paddington
[Image: Warner Bros]

Ever since he was created by Michael Bond the plight of Paddington Bear, and his journey from Darkest Peru to London, hasn’t just merely had a subtext about the immigration experience, it has revolved around it.

The books and character’s message of progression and togetherness isn’t something that “Paddington 2” shies away from, especially considering the rise of Donald Trump in the United States and the Brexit vote in the UK over the last few months.

During my recent discussion with Ben Whishaw I asked the actor, who voices the titular character, whether Trump and Brexit had an impact on the development of “Paddington 2.”

“I honestly don’t think it did consciously. But it was all in the air. And it was all going on around us. Even unconsciously it smuggled its way in.”

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Whishaw also discussed why this message is so important, noting that it is “ingrained” in the history of the character, all the way back to Paddington’s very first book in 1958.

“It was definitely one of the things that Michael Bond was responding to in the 1950s when he wrote the first book. It’s ingrained in Paddington.”

At the same time, though, Whishaw was quick to insist that this message isn’t constantly whacked over the head of its audience, and instead “Paddington 2” just focuses on being “moving and delightful.”

“Having said that, I think the film is delightful because it doesn’t strenuously try to be pertinent or have a message. I find that can drag a film down. Especially a film for young people. First and foremost it has to be moving and delightful, which I think it is.”

You can find out for yourself just how delightful “Paddington 2” is right now, as it is now in cinemas across the United States. The answer, of course, is that it is very, very, very delightful.

 
 
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